History of academic regalia, academic hood

In the days of yore, teachers used to wear a black gowns that we only wear at graduations these days. I’m interested in the origins of the gown. I once heard that teachers were never paid in the old days, but students who had money, slipped it into the pouch at the back of the gown. Is this true? I have been doing a google search on this topic, but couldn’t find anything.

:astonished: Did they have to do a slinky-sexy pole dance first?

I’m pretty sure that in the English speaking world this custom is derived from Tudor Sumptuary laws. In 16th C. England, everyone had to be attired in garb suitable to their station, and the academic costume was derived from clerical robes. Most teachers at the time were priests, or had achieved a B.A. at an university attached to the church, and the black robe was their designated garb. (Forget “in days of yore,” at the Sorbone, in the '60s, profs still wore their gowns to class. btw, in Roman times the law was that scholars had to wear a white toga… different era, same kind of silly rule.)

You’re probably right, though. Teachers often weren’t paid, or were paid poorly and to make ends meet they had to take positions as private tutors (hey! some things really don’t change!). Others gave public lectures to which they charged admission. Given the number of other silly customs (and stories) that have sprung up (infolanka.com/jokes/messages/310.html), I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere, someone thought that slipping a purse into the hood wouldn’t be a discreet way of settling accounts.

I found some information as to the origin of the academic hood.

I’m surprised you didn’t look here.

:bravo: I had already read that article, but coundn’t find any reference to money being put into the hood.

They also missed the well-established historical connection between faculty hood colors and the modern “hanky code”.